Department: Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
Faculty Mentor: Alvin Powers, M.D.
Dissertation Description: Beta-Cell Regeneration and blood glucose regulation
Diabetes is a growing health concern both domestically and globally. It occurs due to dysregulation in glucose homeostasis which then causes a pathologically high blood glucose level (i.e. hyperglycemia). Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are associated with the loss of pancreatic islet beta cells. The overarching purpose of the Powers Lab is to understand how glucose stimulates insulin secretion by pancreatic islet cells and to characterize and reverse abnormalities in this process that are present in diabetes. My proposed thesis research strives to elucidate molecular pathways of beta cell proliferation and regeneration to determine effective ways to replenish beta cell mass in patients with diabetes. Regeneration of pancreatic islet beta cells and restoration of beta cell mass would re-establish regulation of blood glucose in diabetic patients.